Bahamas First sees eight percent gross premiums growth

Bahamas First sees eight percent gross premiums growth

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas First Holdings has reported that gross premiums for the nine months ended September 30 grew by nearly eight percent to $135 million compared to $125 million in the prior year.

Patrick Ward, the The BISX-listed insurer’s group president and chief executive, noted that during Q3-2021, the company saw a continuation of the growth in premiums for both the P&C and Health segments of its business. 

“Taken in isolation, gross premiums written for the third quarter amounted to $45.5 million, compared to $42 million for the same period in 2020,” said Ward.

“For the nine months ended September 30, 2021, gross premiums grew by 7.8 percent to $135 million, compared to $125 million in the prior year. Unfortunately, net incurred claims for the current quarter exceeded prior year results. For the cumulative nine-month period, claims grew by $8 million or 42 percent over the same period in 2020.”

Ward noted that during August 2021, Cayman experienced a brush with Tropical Storm Grace, which had sustained winds of 60mph and gusts of 100mph.

“Gross claims expected from this loss event are currently estimated at $2.3 million and should not impose a material net impact on the Group,” Ward continued.

“Conversely, the escalation in Health claims costs highlighted in earlier reports continued on an accelerated track in Q3-2021, resulting in an increase of about $6 million in claims costs over the same period in 2020. This adverse claim development accounts almost entirely for the reduction in net underwriting income to $20.5 million, compared to the $27.6 million achieved in the prior year. While we are reasonably confident that we have identified the underlying causes, it will take some time to correct the situation fully and restore the Health Account to acceptable profitability targets. 

Ward noted that the Group’s comprehensive income is now ($1.0 million), compared to $6.8 million in 2020.

“It is clear that the difference in outcomes is chiefly related to the performance of the Health Account in Cayman and we will bolster our mitigation strategies to bring this performance back in line,” he said.

“There has been a change of administration following recent general elections in The Bahamas and, as in prior instances, we expect policy changes and a reordering of priorities to impact the operating environment going forward. One important potential change relates to an adjustment in the Value Added Tax rate from 12 percent to 10 percent, and the extent to which customer buying habits and the overall economy may be altered or impacted.”